The purpose of this essay is to examine the issue of lawful force according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). It begins by providing the reader with an overview of International Law. It explains how the majority of international laws are based on consent of the nation in order to respect sovereignty. The next section focuses on armed conflicts and war. A distinction is made between these two terms. The idea of self-defense is discussed as being an almost universally agreed-upon reason for engaging in lawful armed conflicts. This is followed by the longest section essay which discusses the laws of war.
The laws of war are a part of public international law concerned with the justifications for armed conflicts which are acceptable . The wide range of these laws and the activities they cover are explained including declarations of war, treatment of war prisoners, military necessity, and prohibitions against certain types of weapons. The general principles of the laws of war are discussed as proportionality, distinction, and military necessity. The principle of distinction is to determine if an individual is a civilian or combatant. This helps in the determination of whether or not the use of armed force is lawful according to the actions proportionality and military necessity. The final section prior to the conclusion covers breaches of the laws of war, which constitute war crimes .
International law consists of rules, which are accepted as applicable between countries . This law is a framework for organizing stable international relations . This type of law is different than the legal systems which are state-based. The law is primarily applied to a country in contrast to a sin...
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...l of threat or violation. Any actions which involve the lawful use of force should only be carried out when there is a military necessity. For example, the bombing of a civilian food production plant would generally be considered out of proportion and not a military necessity. However, if the plan was found to also be producing ammunition for use in military weapons, then it is destruction would be justified due to military necessity. This might also be true if the plant were producing food used by military troops.
This paper revealed that the use of force can be lawful if it has military necessity, the action is in proportion to the situation, and there is not undue suffering of civilians . With respect to undue suffering, this also applies to military personnel who should not be subjected to harsh treatment beyond that which is necessary to attain military goals.